Redi Direko has interviewed the spokesperson of Core Group SA, and also the owner of CAB Platinum in Sandton. While I will agree we need to give the best possible service to the end user in South Africa, this interview quickly got out of hand. Redi did not allow CAB to state their facts, and was instead looking for contradictions. On the other hand Core's spokesperson was allowed to state his views without interruption and she ate everything up.

Listen here

While I respect Redi Direko a lot, I believe this interview was not handled well. CAB is not necessarily the bad guy - we need to focus on the way Core does its business in SA. Instead of fostering competition in SA, Core has decided to become a distributor and reseller in SA, which in my books is what I would call a monopoly. It is impossible for another reseller to undercut Core's prices which is why you do get stores like CAB looking for alternative import methods. Go look at industry - competition is what ensures success.

At one point Core said that they cant be described as a monopoly seeing as they only have 1 percent of the computer market in SA. True. But that is 100% of the Apple share, and 1% overall might be a bit more if they charged reasonable prices. And that little 1% probably consists of the most vocal fans of any brand on earth.

The interview had terrible structure and I had a overriding suspicion that Redi automatically classified CAB as the bad guy. She is entitled to her opinions. But then when you head over to the 702 website - here is what you find:


If you click on the ad, you will find a testimonial page where Chris Gibbons tells how much he likes Mac, with a direct link to one of Core's pages. Having advertising on your page which is similiar to a product discussed on your show is not that bad - I mean, you cannot control ads these days right? But when that product is then also endorsed by one of your top radio presenters, and then it links directly to Core, I think credibility might just be lost.

I really hope 702 makes a follow up interview with RJ van Spaandonk, and that he answers some of the issues customers have with Core in South Africa. (for an idea of how many people have issues, look at Seth's article).

A week ago I had a telephone conversation with a Apple EU representative. After posting my previous article on Apple's pricing in SA they phoned me within 24 hours from Ireland. Now that is what you call service - at least they made me feel heard. They informed they were aware of the situation that Core is creating in SA, and they also told me that Core should have to honour international Apple warranties. (they also told me I should take VAT into account which I accept as an error). Still, I have not heard anything from Core when I asked similiar questions. In my opinion, Core is the company that does not cater to the end user. They charge ridiculous prices and their service is pathetic:

http://www.mpieters.com/2009/05/just-how-expensive-is-apple-in-sa.html

http://www.stopcore.co.za

http://www.macgeek.co.za/2009/05/31/open-letter-to-core/

http://www.2oceansvibe.com/2009/05/25/calls-for-apple-us-to-revoke-local-distributor-cores-license/

http://www.2oceansvibe.com/2009/05/19/core-group-insiders-come-forward/


To be honest, I am actually disgusted by Apple's choice of distributor. A respectable company would come forward regarding these issues, not use scare tactics like www.stopgrey.co.za. If your prices and service was better, you would not be having all this bad press.
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I am a R&D Analyst in Stellenbosch South Africa who has a immense passion for all things tech related. I embrace technology, open source and web standards, and I participate and contribute to the social web.